Google kills Chrome Apps by shutting down the Chrome Web Store section

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 7, 2017

However, the problem is that native apps are not built using open standards, and in most cases, are part of "walled gardens".

Google is yet to make an official statement but it has removed the "Apps" section from Chrome and has started emailing developers about the same, leaving only the "extensions" and "themes" tab to choose from.

The web giant revealed in 2016 that it planned to phase out Chrome Apps in 2018.

Support for Progessive Web Apps is becoming more available, with Microsoft building support for PWAs into Windows 10, and Apple is similarly building support for PWAs into Safari. Chrome Apps came in two varieties: "packaged apps" and "hosted apps".

Google told developers via email the Chrome team is working to enable Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) that can be installed on the desktop.

The Chrome Web Store is still showing Chrome Apps for Chrome OS users at this time, but Windows, Mac and Linux users are not seeing any apps or games - though it's understood you can still link directly to the apps themselves for now.

What has also now been made apparent is that Google is planning to replace Chrome Apps with PWAs on desktop systems. Progressive Web Apps will allow desktop users to pin icons and shortcuts to the "apps", similar to the function that "hosted apps" performed previously. "We have been investigating ways to simplify the transition for developers that depend on exclusive Chrome App APIs, and will continue to focus on this - in particular the Sockets, HID and Serial APIs".

In a change from the original plan, Google won't immediately remove Chrome Apps support on Windows, Mac, and Linux by Q1 2018. Instead, it will wait until Desktop PWAs become available to install in 2018-a number of months after the original deprecation deadline.

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